Daily Israel Report

'Harsh' Prison Conditions for Terrorists? No World Cup on TV

Prison Services officials reveal 'harsh' conditions may include no TV in cells, binge food buying or free newspapers.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/18/2014, 3:23 PM

Jailed terrorist (illustration)
Jailed terrorist (illustration)
Flash 90

The details of the "harsher" prison conditions, which the Security Cabinet gave Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich a freer hand to impose on jailed Hamas terrorists in a decision Tuesday, have been divulged Wednesday. 

Hebrew-language Walla! news was told by officials that the new conditions planned to be placed on the jailed terrorists include the removing of television sets from their cells, the cancellation of making purchases from the jail's canteen, and no more free newspapers.

While "harsh" may be a somewhat exaggerated term for removing such luxuries, the prisoners apparently buy large quantities of food from the canteen, meaning the cutback will make their prison terms less of a gourmet experience. The TV removal may seem a little "harsher" - at least to Hamas members whose religious zeal is matched by their soccer fanaticism - particularly given the World Cup currently being held in Brazil.

Other more serious measures include the limiting of visiting hours for jailed terrorists. A portion of the more serious offenders will no longer enjoy family visits at all.

"Currently all the perks enjoyed by security prisoners are in our sights, as we are not obligated to provide them in the framework of international conventions and law," a senior Israel Prison Service (Shabas) source told Walla!.

"The political echelon ordered us to prepare a list of sanctions against the prisoners. The list will be passed to the minister (Aharonovich), and he will decide which of the sanctions will be acted on in the end," added the source.

Aharonovich for his part said Wednesday: "Yesterday the Cabinet decided to appoint me to take stringent steps, and I gave orders to conduct them in the coming days. These are harsh steps, and I will not specify."

Released terrorists have revealed on Palestinian Authority (PA) official TV how they enjoyed a life of ease in Israeli prisons. They have also in the past been allowed to pursue a university degree by taking academic courses.